Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Three Little Pigs

The Husband and I had supper in this BBQ "joint" recently. Neither of us had ever eaten at Three Little Pigs Bar-B-Q, although it's been there since 1989. You can see the menu at their site here. They serve breakfast in the mornings, and that menu looked tasty. We were specifically there for the BBQ, though. I had a BBQ sandwich, onion rings and a coke; The Husband had the BBQ sandwich, french fries and a diet coke:

The interior is decorated in All Things Pig, and here's one example that was by the front door:

We enjoyed the food. We like a bit of variety, and it's nice to know yet another reliable BBQ choice close by.

Yelp gives it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Urban Spoon has a score of 89%. Trip Advisor gives it 4 out of 5 stars.

Join the T Tuesday party at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog and share your drink-related post with us.

Monday, June 29, 2015

I Can Understand It

I Can Understand It:

by Bobby Womack, who died a year ago on June 27th at the age of 70, suffering from a number of health problems. He worked at American Sound Studio in Memphis early in his career.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Morrilton, AR

While we were staying at Petit Jean State Park we took one day to go into Morrilton to check out the local town. We went straight to the downtown area and walked around looking for shops and restaurants. Most of the shops were boarded up or closed. One had a sign on the door that said, "Working at home. Call xxx-xxxx". We had to laugh. That's not a very tourist-friendly option. The boards on some of the windows were pretty:

There were some art pieces on the sides of some of the buildings:

and a lovely park:

The Depot Museum was only open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10-2, which was too limited to help us:

The only restaurant downtown was a Mexican place, which didn't suit our mood, so we ate at a chain steak house on the by-pass. Then later we ate at a cute place close to Petit Jean State Park called The Outpost:

I didn't get pictures inside, but I did get a picture of the fudge before it was all gone:

We ate at The Outpost again on another day, and I can safely recommend the chicken salad sandwich and the hamburger. They have good food there. And ice cream, lest I forget. I had a single cone of strawberry ice cream that would rival many a double cone in size. We can't spend every day on the trails, and this day made a nice break.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Oedipus Rex (1957)

Oedipus Rex is a 1957 film adaptation of the Sophocles play. I much prefer watching plays to reading them, but I don't care as much for modern adaptations. This is more the filmed play type, with the actors in robes and performing in masks. The adaptation is written by William Butler Yeats. I enjoyed this. And how can you go wrong with a young William Shatner as a member of the chorus!

It's a story everyone should already be familiar with, but you can read a translation of the play online if you like.

via Youtube:

DVD Journal says, "Seeing Sophocles' greatest smash hit in a form similar to how his original audiences experienced it is a rare and pretty nifty thing."

Friday, June 26, 2015

Petit Jean

Petit Jean State Park is named after an actual person who is said to be buried at the top of the mountain. The legend as recounted on Wikipedia:
According to legend Petit Jean was actually a young 18th century French woman. When she discovered that her fiance planned to explore the Louisiana Territory, she cut her hair, disguised herself as a boy and managed to find a position as a cabin boy. She survived the voyage and joined the expedition team for their exploration. Once they had reached the area of the mountain, the young woman became ill. On her deathbed she revealed herself to her fiance and was buried on the mountain -not under her own name, but under the name she had been known by on the ship "Little John".
The gravesite:

The view from the overlook:

That's the Arkansas River down there:

There's a boardwalk along the ridge, and the views on all sides are stunning:

There's a designated wildflower area and the remains of one of the old Civilian Conservation Corps buildings:

This was one of the more easily accessible spots, wonderful views with little physical effort.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Waiting is a 1999 National Book Award-winning and PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novel by Ha Jin. This one is worth looking for. Interesting plot, well-developed sympathetic characters, description that places you right there in these people's lives...

from the back of the book:
The demands of human longing contend with the weight of centuries of custom in acclaimed author Ha Jin's Waiting, a novel of unexpected richness and universal resonance. Every summer Lin Kong, a doctor in the Chinese Army, returns to his village to end his loveless marriage with the humble and touchingly loyal Shuyu. But each time Lin must return to the city to tell Manna Wu, the educated, modern nurse he loves, that they will have to postpone their engagement once again. Caught between conflicting claims of these two utterly different women and trapped by a culture in which adultery can ruin lives and careers, Lin has been waiting for eighteen years. This year, he promises, will be different.
favorite quote:
A good marriage was full of moments of cats and dogs. It was the uneventful marriage tha was headed toward disaster. In a word, the differences between the husband and the wife should only help stabilize their marriage.
There's a reading group guide here.

Things Asian opens with this: "Winner of the 1999 National Book Award for Fiction, Ha Jin's Waiting is as universal, and deceptively simple as a fable, as gentle and innocent as a bedtime story." Kirkus Reviews closes by saying, "A deceptively simple tale, written with extraordinary precision and grace. Ha Jin has established himself as one of the great sturdy realists still writing in a postmodern age." Publishers Weekly says, "this poet and award-winning short story writer can deliver powerful long fiction about a world alien to most Western readers."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Petit Jean State Park Bear Cave Trail

The Petit Jean State Park Bear Cave Trail is a short, easy trail, though there are rocky sections of the path. There are no caves, but there are rock shelters that are said to have been used by bears.

There were a lot of rock stairs, carved into the rock by the Civilian Conservation Corps. You can see some in the photo below:

I was impressed by the size of the rock features.

This part of the trail made me think of bears:

I was alone on this trail, which was unusual. Most of the other trails had steady traffic while I was walking -not crowds of people, but several passing me as I took my photos. This one was experiencing a quiet time while I was walking on it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Breakfast by the Window

Breakfast by the Window:

is a painting from about 1892 by Edouard Vuillard (11/11/1868-6/21/1940). He said, "To say that a thing is beautiful is simply an act of faith, not a measurement on some kind of scale," and, "I don't paint portraits. I paint people at home."

There was an exhibit of his work at The Jewish Museum in 2012, which described him as "the twentieth-century master whose unique blend of tradition and modernity evokes the refined and sophisticated society of his patrons, many of whom were Jewish." In its coverage of the exhibition held at the National Gallery of Art, NPR notes that Vuillard created more than 3,000 paintings. In an article from 2012, NPR says, "Vuillard was part of a group of young post-Impressionist artists who called themselves Les Nabis — stemming from the word navi, which means "prophet" in Hebrew." Though not Jewish, he had many Jewish patrons, and the later NPR article mentions that his death came a week after the German occupation of France. NPR closes by saying,
By the time Vuillard died in 1940, Abstractionism was on the rise. Today, though, in our jagged, fragmented times, the cozy domestic worlds on Vuillard's canvases are a refuge from the jumble. His rooms aren't noisy, they're safe — for a while, anyway. Many of his wealthy Jewish patrons would die at the hands of the Germans. Their solid rooms would soon be empty. But Vuillard froze them in time..."
The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art has a painting by him. Swiss Landscape (1900):

You can view more of Vuillard's work at WikiArt.

This video is a 15 minute, staff-led overview of Vuillard's life and times and a more in-depth view of one of his paintings in the San Diego Art Museum:

I'm linking to T is for Tuesday at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog, where we share a weekly drink-related post. See the cup on the table in the painting at the top of this post?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mabon "Teenie" Hodges

Teenie Hodges, who was born in a Memphis suburb, died a year ago today of emphysema following a bout of pneumonia. He was 68. He was a musician and songwriter. Among his songs are Take Me to the River with Memphian Al Green:

and Love and Happiness (also with Al Green):

The Rolling Stone obituary said:
Though not a household name, Hodges' sound helped shape and define Memphis soul. As a member of the Hi Rhythm band under the direction of Willie Mitchell, Hodges helped launch the careers of Syl Johnson, Otis Clay and Ann Peebles, crafting groove-filled, classic albums such as Peebles' I Can't Stand the Rain in 1974.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Where the Sidewalk Ends is a 1950 film noir directed by Otto Preminger and starring Dana Andrews as the hard-nosed rule-breaking police detective who despises all criminals, and Gene Tierney as the love interest. Karl Malden, Gary Merrill, Bert Freed, Tom Tully and Ruth Donnelly (who played Sister Michael in The Bells of St. Mary's). If you like film noir you can't go wrong here.

via Youtube:

Slant Magazine calls it an "efficient, bleak noir" and says,
By alternating between physical confrontations staged in silence and expressionistic close-ups of the stone-faced Andrews set to Cyril Mockridge's crashing melodramatic score, the director accentuates not only the brutality but also the desperate emotional impact of his story's bursts of sudden violence.
DVD Talk notes "Dana Andrews' haunted portrait of a fallible law enforcement officer," "Otto Preminger's classy direction and the seemingly eternal night in New York," and "good supporting actors and convincing art direction". TCM has an overview. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 100%.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Cameraman

The Cameraman is a 1928 silent Buster Keaton film. Buster Keaton spends all his money to buy a camera, trying to get a job with the company the girl he's "sweet on" works for.

via Youtube:

Slant Magazine gives it 4 out of 4 stars and describes it as "right up there with Sherlock, Jr. as one of Keaton's most impressively self-reflective films and an ode to the unexpected and elusive lightening-in-a-bottle nature of filmmaking." Image & Narrative has a lengthy article with screenshots. DVD Journal calls it "the last really good Buster Keaton film". Images Journal notes it was "the most financially successful film of Keaton's career". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 100%.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Petit Jean State Park Visitor Center

The woman staffing the visitor center was not outgoing or helpful, but we did fine on our own, looking at exhibits:

and watching the bird feeder:

This statue is of Petit Jean, for whom the park is named:

We didn't realize there was a lake behind the building but went back another day once we figured that out:

You can rent a boat, but we didn't. They also offer Rent-A-Yurts, which you may can see through the trees:

There's a boarded up building between the Visitor Center and Lake Bailey:

Hardison Hall, built in 1948, was named after T. W. Hardison, a physician and naturalist who was instrumental in getting the area designated as a state park and who is considered the father of the park system. It was closed in 1974. Several efforts have been made to explore ways of renovating/restoring the building, but it seems the cost is prohibitive. Arkansas Online says,
Hardison Hall, measuring about 14,000 square feet, was built by the Arkansas Resources and Development Commission in 1948 at a cost of about $95,600. The structure’s original tri-level floor plan includes six 1,100-square-foot barracks-like dormitory rooms, four 200-square-foot bedrooms, a 200-person-capacity auditorium with a stage, and a 360-square-foot kitchen with a pantry. Additional areas within the structure include a 1,200-square-foot lounge, a reception area, a staff meeting room, an office, four restrooms and storage closets.
There is a Facebook page campaigning to stop its demolition. It does seem a shame to raze it.